The STANDARD H Travel pages are our version of city guides presented by our founder, Wesley Smith. These are places he's traveled, enjoyed, and recommends, so they're all vetted and what we refer to as STANDARD H verified. These lists will evolve, so check back often and travel safe!
"Though I have been to many places in Europe, most were done after college as I backpacked on my own for the better part of two months. It's been so long ago, I couldn't begin to tell you where I ate or where I stayed. Regardless, you're probably not here to discover a hostel anyway. In 2019, my wife and I enjoyed just over a week in Italy. Below are my favorite places in Florence and Positano, two of my favorite places in Italy." - Wesley
La Terrazza Continentale
Vicolo dell'Oro, 6, 50123 Firenze Fl, Italy
This was perhaps my favorite place to have a drink in Florence. It's been on a bunch of "Best Rooftop Bars in the World" lists and for good reason. It's small, so you may have to wait, however, it's an amazing atmosphere. Hopefully you're able to get lucky and score a table along its outer edge where you'll have views of the river. I highly recommend getting there an hour before sunset, grabbing an Aperol Spritz and taking that in. It's wonderful.
Harry's Bar Firenze
Lungarno Amerigo Vespucci, 8, 50123 Firenze Fl, Italy
Perhaps you've already heard of Harry's - it's somewhat of a Florence staple in many circles. Delicious food. Great location. Though I have never eaten a meal here, myself, this is my go-to spot after dinner/later in the evening. I've only sat at the bar, which is where I'd recommend sitting for that true Harry's experience. Complimentary chips and a small bowl of nuts alongside a Negroni - what more do you need?
Via Maggio, 46r, 50125 Firenze Fl, Italy
If you're looking for pizza in Florence, this was my favorite. It's perfect for a casual, no-fuss dinner after walking around the city all day. Snag a table inside and grab a Nastro Azzurro and you're set.
Via S. Gallo, 3r, 50129 Firenze Fl, Italy
A favorite for many Pitti Uomo attendees, SandwiChic is a tiny deli with incredible sandwiches. The meats are delicious, and they even have been on-hand. You need to add this to your lunch list when in Florence.
Arà: è Sicilia
Via degli Alfani, 127, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Two blocks away from SandwiChic is this place serving arancini, cannoli, pastries and gelato. We got the arancini and they're delicious.
Via Santo Spirito, 60/R, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
We were strolling around after our pizza dinner at Gustapizza and saw about 25 people drinking wine in the street. This hole-in-the-wall of a wine bar absolutely struck us as our type of place. They serve meat & cheese platters. The prices for the wine are incredibly reasonable and the whole atmosphere was wonderful. This is exactly the type of place I love to discover in European cities like Florence.
The Westin Excelsior
Piazza Ognissanti, 3, 50123 Firenze Fl, Italy
Another great rooftop to have happy hour and/or dinner. A tad on the touristy side, but we had incredible weather as it was September, and the sunset was gorgeous. It certainly presents amazing views of the river and the entire city. The only downside is it can be touristy depending on time of year, especially.
Via Cassia per Siena, 133, 50026 Bargino FI, Italy
Far from original, though this wine tour is amazing. It's more of an architecture tour than a schooling in wine making, though that also plays a role. Antinori is one of the oldest wine businesses in the world, and it's absolutely beautiful. The wine is very reliable and has a lot of different price points per bottle, so you're bound to find something you like. It's definitely worth a visit.
Strada Provinciale Castellina in Chianti, 3, 50028 Barberino Tavarnelle FI, Italy
Now, I'm not going to start giving shout-outs to all of the vineyards I enjoy because the list would be too long, but I wanted to give a quick recommendation for Casa Emma, as it's far more "mom & pop" than somewhere like Antinori (which you should visit for the architecture if nothing else). Casa Emma is a small producer that had me sold on their rosé, which was so great out on their back patio, overlooking their vines on a hot day. The service was great. We've placed two orders since our visit - often times they'll do free shipping promotions which is great given we're so far.
Ristoro L'Antica Scuderia
Via Passignano, 17, 50028 Tavarnelle Val di Pesa FI, Italy
If you're into wine, Tuscany is more than likely already on your radar. When you're out and about, this place is a must-stop for lunch to break up the day. The food is absolutely delicious and in a setting unlike any other. Be sure to sit out on the patio, enjoy the fresh air and take your sweet time.
Ristorante Max Positano
Piazza dei Mulini, 22, 84017 Positano SA, Italy
This restaurant, art gallery & wine bar was actually one of my favorite meals in Positano. Walking down Piazza dei Mulini the sidewalk narrows. You'll see the sign hanging on the side of the building where you'll take a right a descend a set of stairs to this mazy interior. The inside is like being in a classy old Italian home, though we sat outside on the patio and it was just one of those perfect Italian nights. It's very reasonably priced and the atmosphere is unlike anywhere else we ate. We were there in September, so if you throw on a linen shirt, kick back with a glass of wine, order just about anything on the menu and you're sure to have a great time. They actually have cooking classes here which I didn't find out until later.
Viale Pasitea, 114, 84017 Positano SA, Italy
Speaking of linen shirts...there aren't too many shops listed on here, but this is absolutely one of them as it sells my absolute favorite linen shirts. They're cut slim, but not too slim, they have a timeless, semi-spread collar, and their sewn right there on site. In fact, one of my shirts came with some darker buttons I didn't love, so Francesco had them removed and had white ones put on overnight before we left the next day. Great service.
Via Corvo, 107, 84017 Positano SA, Italy
Located more or less at the top of Positano on the western side, we actually rented an AirBnb just up the street from Da Costatino, so we passed it several times before eating here. The pizza was incredible, and if you request to sit along the wall by a window, the view is awesome.
Zass Restaurant - Il San Pietro di Positano
Via Laurito, 2, 84017 Positano SA, Italy
A 5-star hotel located just east on the cliff's edge hosts the Michelin Star restaurant Zass. Certainly one of the most special restaurants in the area, the view is incredible, and as the sun goes away, seeing the lights from the large yachts anchored just offshore is unforgettable. The food was delicious and the service was what you can expect from such an establishment. The menu changes as the ingredients are seasonal. There is a dress code, so be aware collared shirts and pants are required for men.
La Sirenuse Hotel
Via Cristoforo Colombo, 30, 84017 Positano SA, Italy
This beautiful hotel sits perched up on a hill just east of the middle of town and offers incredible views. I love the red facade, and the staff is incredible. It's a 5-star hotel, so if it's out of budget, I'd highly recommend at least going there for sunset drinks or perhaps dinner. It's a special place.
Via Cristoforo Colombo, 1/3, 84017 Positano SA, Italy
We probably tried gelato at 3 or four different places, but this was our favorite, and it was somewhat the most convenient, coincidentally as you may find yourself passing it to and from the beach. There's often a line, but it goes quick.